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Elsa Peters
March 1, 2012, 5:39am Report to Moderator

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Thursday March 1st

Chestita Baba Marta.....the lady is here but as for the weather...I saw no naked shepherds frolicking in the morning dew....there was no morning dew just lots of snow and it was coming down strong at 5.30 this morning.  Yes cold overnight again and if this is welcoming to Baba Marta....it's getting a little thin at this neck of the woods.  Suns up amongst those scudding clouds somewhere but I have the feeling that they're going to keep scudding all day and coming from the north east.



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theroo
March 1, 2012, 7:19pm Report to Moderator

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Hey there

Happy Baba Marta. Thank you for the bands; we are both wearing them at the moment, though are unsure when we're likely to see any storks over here (other than the dodgy margarine variety)...

It looks like we really did bring the weather with us huh it was literally just starting to snow as we left.

dovej dane
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Elsa Peters
March 2, 2012, 4:48pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 2nd March

So I fell asleep reading last night and decided that when I awoke anything that I wrote would be incoherent so decided to abstain from the evening ritual...sorry folks...needs as needs must.

Slept badly and I was awake at three this morning and settled into my book until five thirty.  Head down for a couple of hours...no need for fires this morning as the sun was already up...not too warm but hinting at a beautiful day.  Ten thirty this morning my phone goes and I'm wondering who's calling.  Look at the display and it's my Bekir and he says that the local builder's yard has some of the supplies in that it has been waiting for and can they deliver today.  Bekir and Sally will hitch a lift with the wagon, come and unload so that it's all here for when they can start again, weather permitting.  The boys are back in town is the first thing that comes to mind and I have been singing it for the rest of the day.  He reckons they are going to be an hour.....I reckon it is going to be a Bulgarian hour and I am right.  Just before mid-day the wagon arrives, men jump out, gate is removed, hardboard stacked in the yard, wood dropped on the roadside, my roof bitumen is taken to the wreck.  Payment is demanded, I managed to get together six hundred leva advising them that they didn't give me much notice and promise payment with fourteen working days....   

Leave the men to moving the timber from the road to the yard and I've now got to go into Djebel to get fuel for Beauty to take them home, money to pay them for the last time they worked and enough for the remainder of the delivery that they can it take to the yard tomorrow.....I hate debt....all will be sorted tomorrow.

I have told them that I need them to work for a few days to make some doors so that my guest don't feel that they are living on a building site and the washbasin will be installed upstairs for their benefit.  There is also the small detail of curtain poles...I have the curtains...no poles.  Joy of joy.  My men are back.

So I get back from Djebel and they are waiting for me so take them home.  They comment about the amount of wood that I have left...not much is it and I am reminded that there is no wood in Fotinovo and that others have completely run out.  I do have a reserve supply at the back of the barn that will be brought into play for a dire emergency but so far so good.  Fires lit at four o'clock this afternoon and ticking along nicely....it's not so cold today but it's welcoming to see one burning in the grate.  Supper is gammon with baked beans in honey and tomato with a hint of chilli and it's bubbling and should be ready when I finish this update.

Must really go round the village with my red and white bands tomorrow...the weather has sort of put me off but round I must....collected my first one from my car shop this afternoon when I went in to get the money and explained that I had put the fuel into the Beast but still no ignition.  I think there is air in the fuel pipe and I need the man to sort it out...hopefully tomorrow....

Supper calls, wine calls, book calls and finally bed calls and hopefully it is before I rest my head on the arm of my settee and nod off waking to a ghost of a fire....LN....let's start the count down to bedtime....



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Elsa Peters
March 3, 2012, 6:07am Report to Moderator

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Saturday 3rd March

Frosty start, lovely morning, finished my book and now on to the third in the series....author.....Diana Gabaldon...Danuta you would love them.

So I hear breakfast calling from the kitchen...get some food inside me...as you feed a fire, so you feed the flesh...
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Elsa Peters
March 3, 2012, 4:20pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday continued

What a beautiful day and quite productive.  There has been some old lino lying around in the garden from the wreck and I forgot all about it until the snow disappeared....so....lit a bonfire this morning and unfortunately it was blowing towards the houses and not over the hillside but as the day wore on, the wind stilled and I was down to my Bulgarian vest and on the sun-lounger and it was really very hot.  Didn't take long though for the wind to change direction completely, get up to speed and remove most of the polythene roofing from the wreck but the upside was that the smoke was now off over the hillside to Greece.  Unfortunately it was blowing a gale as I said so I had to 'caretaker' it until I could safely say...it's all gone and burnt itself out.  Lino's just a bugger to burn and it was a little damp and oh so smelly.

Went up on the roof of the wreck and bashed some more nails in to stop most of the polythene wafting in the wind.  Precariously balanced over the hallway on an eight inch beam....thought about a flick-flack and an Olga Korbet dismount  but decided to use the ladder instead...

Came in for a coffee and started the third book in the series...realised that the breakfast that I'd promised myself hadn't materialised and I was now a little in need of sustenance so made a batch of p*ssing ham soup, as I like to call it, and it was delicious.  Had it with hot buttered toast and there's enough left for two portions for the freezer.  Just got the fire underway...there's been no need for it until now (6.00) and the wind has dropped and it's turned into a very calm evening.  I was toying with the idea of going down to Djebel and my restaurant but instead will do it in the morning and make it a 'coffee' morning instead.  It's been a while since I did that.

So not hungry yet after my soup...real rib sticking stuff....a little beer tonight will not go a miss to help it down and that book is really calling me....it's a ripping yarn.  Light's going on, curtains getting closed, beer getting poured, cushions getting plumped, computer getting switched off and I'm in for the night.....LN ...enjoy your evening.
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Hwlffordd
March 4, 2012, 9:12am Report to Moderator
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There I was wondering why it was so quiet and I just realised I was still living in February and everyone else is here in March!!

Well here I sit and I'm all excited (even more excited now than I was!) ! I have booked flights which will arrive on 24th March and I leave again on 31st March so I get to see some of BG at last for real!

Now do I actually need to worry too much about snow ?!?!?! Or will I be able to drive about without too much difficulty!
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Elsa Peters
March 4, 2012, 4:38pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 4th March

OK Bob...well done for booking your flight but in no way am I a Michael Fish......and as for Mystic Meg....s,no hope or Bob Hope....Andrew struck lucky with the weather....as it stands at the moment...cold nights and gorgeous days....cross those fingers and anything else that can be crossed.

As for me....by seven this morning I had coffeed, emailed, checked the blog and at eight was cooking my fried tomatoes to have them on toast.  They seemed to have been lurking for a while and there's only so many poached eggs that you can eat without wanting a change.  Got the right spice pots and managed black pepper first time....have been known to come out with ginger before now or cinnamon...different but doesn't go with the salt too well.

Finished one of the curtains for the second bedroom...it was a bit of a bugger since the lining material wasn't woven all that square so I had to make adjustments by a bit of hand sewing.  All good now and I have come up with a solutions for the fact that the beams on the ceiling of the bedroom are not all the same depth and I was trying to workout how I could use one run of metal but come down about two inches to make it OK to attach to one of the other beams...Easy....put a bend in it....I've now got to explain it to the men and it will probably take pencil and paper.

Sat out this afternoon on the lounge terrace for a couple of hours in the sun and got my first summer tinge on.  It was absolutely gorgeous out there.  Took my third book in the series and she has now gone back through the standing stones two hundred and twenty years and found her man.....all good so far and it's a job to put it down (that's the book).  Came in at three when the wind got up and sat in the hall still reading and at five decided that it was time to light the fire, I noticed the sun setting so out with the camera and caught Semile's cowman coming home.  He hardly speaks a word of Bulgarian but he watched me taking photos so in Turkish I said that it was a beautiful sight and he smiled.  I asked him if I could take his photo and he was so pleased.....I'll frame it for him.  He's only a young lad and lives on his own since his parents have died.  

So fire going...didn't bother to freeze the pea and ham soup....I'm going to have it tonight...it was so delicious.  Out of alcohol so I'll used my imagination on some grape juice and with a little bit of luck and a fair wind, I might have to be out in the car in the morning if the men decide that they can work so not a bad thing.  LN....that soup needs a warming and I need another grape juice.



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Elsa Peters
March 5, 2012, 7:30pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 5th March

Fristy frosty white over at 6.00 this morning and at seven thirty no call from the men so I stood down.

So today what to do?  I started about five jobs at the same time and I think only two of them have been completed through no fault of my own.  One ever so large bench removed from the kitchen and put on the kitchen terrace. logs sorted, log support bench removed to the kitchen but realised that it needs another two / three inches on it to become a kitchen bench so back to the drawing board, terrace swept and then it was time for half an hour with the book.

Peace and quiet dissolved when my phone went and it was the garage saying that the man who owned my Beauty was in the garage and I think that I may have mentioned that without the trip to the solicitors you might have it in your possession but legally, it's not yours.  So it was suggested that I get my a into gear and get to the garage double quick which I did.  I grabbed all of the documents that I have for my car and I set sail with the man to collect the remaining documents from his house.  Off we went in my Beauty to Kardjali, found a solicitor to be greeted with 'If you haven't got the annual tax documents, I can't do the transfer'.  Back we went to Djebel and I left him outside the tax office to pay the local tax and he is supposed to phone the garage and we have agreed to meet on Wednesday to go again to Kardjali to find the not so obliging woman so that ownership of the said vehicle will be ...mine all mine...

So back to the garage to confirm that the man is going to phone Lubo at the garage with the time of the next attempt and I mentioned that my little Beauty doesn't sound so good and on closer inspection she had a front wheel bearing gone and the 'tampons' (shock absorbers) were on the blink.  The bearing was fixed but the tampons will be sorted tomorrow.  Not a good word for them but obviously I didn't try the translation...too much like hard work and embarrassing for the native speakers.  He's also coming out to look at the Beast tomorrow....the winter has taken its toll of my transport...roll on spring.

Home at almost seven to a cold house...lit fire, poured myself a drink (having stopped off in Djebel to top-up the empty cabinets), settled for a rum and coke and at four pounds eighty for a litre bottle of the stuff thought it was reasonable value.

Now back to my book in front of the fire that at last is sending its warmth to the radiators around the place.  LN...I'm off to sample some of the rum with hot water....need fortification...it's cold tonight but maybe I feel it after the warmth of the day...LN...down the wooden hills I go....
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Elsa Peters
March 6, 2012, 4:36pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 6th March

Six of the clock...bright and early....read until 7.00...no breakfast this morning.  I was naughty last night and had the rest of the tuna mayo from lunch with three huge chunks of bread finishing off with a whole bar of hazel nut chocolate and didn't I suffer!!   

I dreamt of my grandmother's fish and chip shop, they were having it demolished and there were men hanging on to it precariously from ladders and the likes.  In my dream thay had no other place to go to and I wondered why it was coming down so at six I'd had enough trauma for one night and came to with a start.  So that's when I picked up my book and from one catastrophe to another....the nephew was just about to be hijacked and the treasure stolen so I decided enough was enough....out of bed, coffee, turned out the kitchen since breakfast was going to sit heavily on the tuna from last night, washed the floor, turned out the hall and headed up to emails, blog and making curtains.

Mid morning Sally and one of his friends arrived.  He is so obviously proud of the work that he and Bekir have achieved so a conducted tour was underway and the message is, from the horse's mouth, Bekir is to phone tomorrow and they are here for the rest of the week to do the doors and sort out the upstairs bathroom for my guests.    If there is time left they might just roof the wreck but I know they don't work that fast, but they are good.

Went in for my student and realised when I had got there that all the work I'd prepared was sitting in my lounge and I was in Djebel.  I thought I'd put it in my bag but no so I went onto the internet and we read the texts that I would have used and answered the questions on the screen. Prior to that I suggested that we used his school workbook and it was so boring that even I decided that it wasn't up to scratch...Who are these things written by and for whom?

My car was in this afternoon and tampons fixed.  I have to smile when I say it but a further problem is that one of the springs is shot so tomorrow...two new springs and thank goodness it's in Bulgaria not the UK.  Home after a visit to the leva shop bringing home a new little saucepan, a thermometer and some screwed rods from the hardware shop for my curtains...don't ask...all will be revealed.  Fire that I thought was going has given up the ghost while I am writing this so my next step is down to fix it.  Supper is nowhere near the cooker so I've got to use some inspiration with what's in the fridge and the red wine is uncorked ready....I suppose one out of three isn't bad.

LN.....I have jobs to do...have a good evening....
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Elsa Peters
March 7, 2012, 4:17pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 7th March

Six o'clock start, read my book for an hour, got dressed and awaited the phone call and ....zilch...I guess he had other fish to fry.  Decided not to waste the morning so started on my curtains and they are all ready to hang that's when I get the curtain rails up....There is a metal rod in the wreck that might do the big and small windows and if it fits, Cinderella, then tomorrow I get to paint it black.  The other small one for the door needs the dirt and rust from it since I only dug it up from out of the garden yesterday.  I knew where it had been buried and out with the spade and I have it.

So what else did I do?  Breakfast...poached eggs....onto the computer and did my emails and stuff...and then replaced the outside sink drain.  The frost had taken its toll and there were leak everywhere but now fixed.  Moved the plants from out of the second bedroom into the third and and cleared out the half tiles from the bathroom and tomorrow I am making a shelf for the wash basin to sit on.  Had a phone call from Bekir to say that they will be working tomorrow.  The list is assembled but firstly must get some measuring apparatus...they left the tape measures out in the winter when it came on us very suddenly and they don't come out and if they come out, they won't go back....this I know from experience....   Bekir will provide the plumbing expertise, Sally can start on the doors so that there is a little privacy for my guests.  I suppose I am so used to living on.

Lubyo came round to see to the Beast but still didn't get it going.  I tried to explain that you need to get the air out of the fuel pipe if it has run out of fuel but I couldn't fine it even after looking at the handbook.  He reckoned that there wasn't enough fuel in the tank to start it so off I went this afternoon and bought another eleven litres of the stuff and the 'beauty'....for want of a better word...still wouldn't start but he did recommend that I saved a couple of litres and he probably will be back on Friday to give it another go.

Supper tonight is cooking...local sausage with potatoes, mushrooms, honey, tomato paste and I've just put pasta on to cook so it shouldn't take too long.  I've had the fire ticking over most of the day.  It's been dull, damp and cold and I hear that there might be some more snow....let's hope not tomorrow...first day back and all that and even though they will be working inside some of the time...I know they will insist on making the doors outside because of the mess....

Kitchen calls.....LN.....I'm off to sort supper.....sorry no pics...promise there'll be some tomorrow....
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